Posts Tagged ‘youtube’

Two Malkohas and an unknown Owl: Valley School area, 300717

August 1, 2017

The fifth Sunday of the month, when it occurs, is an occasion when the “bngbirds” umbrella birding group of Bangalore does not have an organized bird walk; it’s time for most of us to earn back some brownie points, or at least get out of the doghouse, by attending to home,families, and other social commitments.

But alas, alas, several of us don’t heed the call to redemption. When Sangita S Mani, who works for Kanha Taj Safaris, told me that she’s in town, and that though she’s been working in Madhya Pradesh for about 12 years now, she’s not birded in Bangalore…it was too good a chance to pass up! Aravind, Padma, Ramaswamy, Srini and I bore her off to the Valley School area.

IMG_0057

I never go to any destination with any particular bird or other sighting in mind. In general, I am content to see what comes my way. However, Sangita particularly wanted to see the Blue-faced Malkoha, and we hoped that this would not be the one day when the bird decided to skulk successfully in the foliage!

We started out with loud calls from the peafowl (though we never saw one of these birds throughout the morning), and carried on along the path,

IMG_0085//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

sighting White-cheeked and Coppersmith Barbets, and a beautiful Black-shouldered Kite perched on a bare tree. Several birds like the Ashy Prinia, a quick-fleeing Spotted Owlet, Small Minivets

IMG_0110

and White-eyes

IMG_0108

brought us just past the last banyan tree before the abandoned building. Though our names had been the first on the school register, by this time, several others had preceded us with their cameras and binoculars, and two of them were looking into an Acacia tree just beyond the stone seat in the field. “Sirkeer Malkoha,” said one of them, and yes, there the bird was…I was seeing it at the Valley after a long gap, and for some of my friends, it was a lifer, too.

IMG_0105

Just a little later, as we walked along looking up at the swifts and swallows swooping above us, the Blue-faced Malkoha also granted Sangita’s wish.

IMG_0114

Meanwhile, we’d also sighted three flycatchers: a Tickell’s Blue singing its heart out,

IMG_0079

a dancing White-browed Fantail, and a Paradise Flycatcher with an almost-full tail, swishing itself rufously about, to our cries of “There it is…no, it’s moved…it went there…there it is now…oh, it’s gone!”

A White-naped Woodpecker was an uncommon sighting, as it worked its way along the bark of a bare tree.

IMG_0089

My friends had a great experience of a mixed hunting party, quite large, all foraging in the area near the wall, and were very happy with their observation of how the different birds fed together. In many Hindu cultures, we have the concept of the “samaaraadhana” where people belonging to all castes and communities have a meal together, and this was the birding equivalent!

The plants and six-footers caught our attention too.

Crimson Rose

IMG_0122

Common Gull

IMG_0130

Psyche….it wanders about like the spirit (in Greek) it’s named after.

IMG_0137

Dark Blue Tiger

IMG_0158

White Orange-tip

IMG_0185

Shield Bug

IMG_0179

Gram Blue on Grewia sp.

IMG_0238

Golden Eggs of Coreidae bug:

IMG_0064

Bagworm Moth pupa on spiderweb

IMG_0065

Moth caterpillars with egg:

IMG_0210

Beautiful berries

IMG_0243

? tiny flower

IMG_0200

Bauhinia purpurea

IMG_0052

Allmania nodiflora

IMG_0125

We walked into the bamboo thicket and heard another Tickell’s Blue singing; several babblers gave voice in the bushes on the way there. Raptors never fail to arrive when they can be seen for the shortest time, and a Short-toed Snake Eagle shot past the small gap between the bamboo leaves.

We decide to take a calorie break, and ate some pongal with roasted appalam. Some of us were scheduled to attend formal lunches, and I hoped to avoid the usual “brefus stop” on the way home.

IMG_0114

(But of course, I wanted a bit of caffeine on the way home and when we stopped at Vidyarthi Grand, the coffee somehow developed into a proper breakfast! I am certainly not fast…on either expertise with the natural world, or with avoiding food!)

IMG_0248

We were very like the seamen of old being led on by the Lorelei, as we walked towards where we felt the call of the White-rumped Shama was coming from. As we did so, Srini sighted an owl sitting high up on a tree; it flew away almost immediately, but we feel it was not the Brown Wood Owl, but rather, a Mottled Wood Owl (I’ve seen one often in the area behind the abandoned house, which is now walled off.)

The Shama treated us to a couple of sightings in the misty morning,

IMG_0150

and full of its beautiful song,

we turned back towards the main gate, and so off towards what the Sunday held for each of us. Our hearts, binoculars, memory cards were all filled with images of the morning.

The eBird list, compiled by Aravind, is

here

I have put up photos on my FB album

here </a.

(as usual, documenting the morning, not focusing on any one living creature).

IMG_0117

Cheers, Deepa.

Advertisements

Bhoochakra gadde or Kandamool, being sold in Bangalore, 070617

June 8, 2017

I found an interesting root being sold on vendor’s cart.

IMG_4586

The scientific name, Manjula Desai tells me, is

Maerua oblongifolia

This belongs to the Capparaceae (Caper) family.

It’s called “bhoo chakra gadde” in Kannada, (it would be better translated as “bhoo shakkar gadde”…earth-sugar tuber”. I am not able to find the name in Tamil.

Here’s a video of a slice being smeared with lemon, dipped in sugar, and served:

Here’s another video, where the skillfully-carved slice is served without lemon or sugar:

Someone says it is from Haridwar.

here

is a scientific study of the DnA of this root.

By Subhashish Panigrahi – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=56546985

Could someone help with more information?

Gulakmale and Thotti Kallu (T K) Falls, 280517

May 29, 2017

IMG_3985

Sivakumar Mallya, Sudha Iyengar, Janhvi Vyas, Aadya Umesh, Suma Seshadri, Kavitha Umesh, Jayashree Govindarajan, Rishov Biswas, Ramaswamy G S, Padma Ramaswamy, and I, went to visit Gulakmale kere (lake) and T K Falls.

Because of the heavy rain,we started in cool, cloudy and misty weather. Here is the Champakadhama temple at Bannerghatta…an old temple that appears to be lost in the mists of time.

IMG_3990

The mist was everywhere.

IMG_4022

We first stopped at the small pond near the path to the Bhavani temple:

IMG_4011

Having spotted some Baya Weavers,

IMG_4024

We moved to Gulakmale kere,

IMG_4035

where we watched a colony of these birds on a date palm.

IMG_4073

IMG_4077

Aadya faithfully documented all that she saw, and as usual, sketched, too. Here’s her sketch of the Baya Weavers’ nest:

IMG_4083

Even as they built their dwellings, a White-rumped Munia arrived to try and occupy them.

IMG_4099

Nature, as a teacher, gave me a geometry lesson.

IMG_4046

The sky slowly cleared

IMG_4095

We then went to T K Falls, where the water had been released due to heavy rain over the Suvarnamukhi river, resulting in a beautiful cascade:

IMG_4103

I took a video of the scene a little further downstream where we crossed to the Muniswara temple area:

Wildflowers were everywhere.

Cleome monophylla, Spindle Pod

IMG_4115

Tarenna asiatica, Asiatic Tarenna:

IMG_4134

Chinese lanter tree

IMG_4041

Hibiscus lobatus (very tiny)

IMG_4062

Grewia damine

IMG_4175

Cadaba fruticosa – Indian Cadaba

IMG_4164

I found a very good website to identify wildflowers,

here

There were plenty of birds, like the

Ashy Prinia on the Marsh Glory

IMG_4028

Cinereous Tit

IMG_4101

Coppersmith Barbets

IMG_4089

Purple-rumped Sunbird

IMG_4135

Southern Coucal

IMG_4110
Many butterflies delighted us.

Crimson Tip

IMG_4156

White Orange-tip

IMG_4159

Blue Tiger

IMG_4054

Plain Tiger on Stachytarpeta

IMG_4056

Common Crow

IMG_4058

Here are three pathologists, one senior banker and one Jobless Person:

IMG_4189

On the way back this beautiful Brahma bull (even though a little emaciated) looked majestic.

IMG_4192

Here we all are, about to tuck into brefus at Udupi Banashree on Bannerghatta Road

IMG_4208

Gulakmale bird list:

here

T K Falls

here

Butterfly list

Blues, various
Cerulean, Common
Crimson Tip
Crow, Common
Cupid, Plains
Emigrant, Common
Emigrant, Mottled
Gull, Common
Jezebel, Common
Leopard, Common
Orange-tip, White
Pansy, Lemon
Rose, Common
Rose, Crimson
Tiger, Blue
Tiger, Plain
Tiger, Striped
Yellow, Common Grass
Yellow, Spotless
Yellow, Three-Spot Grass

FB album

here

Kolkata, Jorhat, Kaziranga, 07-130517

May 19, 2017

We visited Kolkata

IMG_1542

had an evening admiring the Victoria Memorial,

IMG_1575

IMG_1602

enjoying puchka

IMG_1641

jhaal mudi

IMG_1650

and visited the family who brought me up.

IMG_1657

We visited Pradeep and Sulakshana Barthakur at their home in Jorhat, where they run a centre for children. (Pokamura, 7km from Jorhat)

IMG_3064

The location is

here

Their home is a veritable garden of Eden which they share with all kinds of beings:

IMG_3014

Bronzeback Tree Snake

IMG_3049

Blue-throated Barbet

IMG_2007

We went to Kaziranga National Park, staying at Wild Grass resort.

IMG_2355

Hog Deer

IMG_2423

Red Jungle Fowl

IMG_2444

Elephants

IMG_2553

Rhinos

IMG_2721

Swamp Deer (bArAsinghA)

IMG_2829

Here’s K1’s beautiful depiction of the elephant safari,

IMG_2745

IMG_2730

where we saw so much of wildlife.

IMG_3098

IMG_2783

The Flickr albums are:

Blr-Kol and visit

Kol, Science City and Gariahat Mod

Kolkata-Jorhat

Jorhat, 100517

Wild Grass, Kaziranga, 11,120517

Jorhat, 130517 morning

Jorhat-Guwahati-Bangalore, 130517

It was a memorable trip and I enjoyed it very much, through my own experience and that of my family.

Nandi Hills, 220417

May 1, 2017

IMG_1642
Venkat, Varun, Shanthala, Kedar, Akansha, Nitin, Janhvi, Padma, Vidhya, Ramaswamy, Nandi Hills, 220417

IMG_1662
Puff-throated Babbler

The blossoming Gulmohar..

IMG_1668

The floral carpet below.

IMG_1667

Vanda testacea, an orchid that was growing wild.

IMG_1678

Tipu’s summer lodge:

IMG_1708

Owl’s Eye Moth

IMG_1740

“Oooh, see the Nilgiri Wood Pigeons!”

IMG_1742

Here they are, billing and cooing together:

IMG_1793

It was a lovely morning, you can see the album

here

The eBird list is

here

for Nandi and

here

for Jakkur kere.

How food is cooked on a massive scale

March 28, 2017

Having seen for myself the deteriorating quality of food on trains on the Indian Railways, I watched this interesting documentary on IRCTC:

It’s rather long, watch only if you have the inclination and the time!

I couldn’t believe all the good food being prepared…why, I thought, do I never see phulkas or salads, even on the Rajdhani? And halfway through the film, the answer appeared. In response to complaints about the quality of food, the catering was take away from IRCTC itself (who then started concentrating on the corporate sector) and given to independent contractors who, I feel, are definitely running the catering service into the ground now. The video is still worth watching (as are several on how temple kitchens function) for the scale of food preparation.

Here’s one that’s also fascinating:

(Most temples in Karnataka provide food to the devotees who visit.)

Home-maker, Doresanipalya Reserve Forest, 120317

March 12, 2017

We saw a White-cheeked Barbet, idle, and free.

IMG_0264

It seemed to suddenly twist itself, right towards the tree.

IMG_0261

I’d wished to see a woodpecker, and as if granting that wish
It pecked to make a nesting-hole, work that it seemed to relish!

Here’s the bird, hard at work, rat-tatting away.

“Go and build your own home!” is what it seemed to say!

Yes, we took its sage advice and homeward went our way,
But the thought of the home-building barbet we carry through the day.

Captivity over freedom: Grey Francolins, Jigani Lake, 181216

December 18, 2016

Something strange on the 3rd Sunday outing to Jigani kere today.

We saw a young man with 2 Grey Francolins in a cage, and when I walked up to the group, everyone told me how they voluntarily came back into the cage when the young man let them out. Well, once again, the young man let them out, and this time, both birds flew quite a distance before landing in the field. I couldn’t believe that the Francolins would be captive again…but stood and watched the young man approaching the area where they were,they voluntarily came back into the cage when the young man let them out.

On this video, you can see the first Francolin just inside the cage, and the second walk in to the cage, with no force or persuasion! DoSomething strange on the 3rd Sunday outing today (Sun, 18 Dec 2016) at Jigani kere.

We saw a young man with two Grey Francolins in a cage, and when I walked up to the group, everyone told me ho the birds get so used to captivity that they prefer it to an uncertain freedom?

Here’s the Francolin, outside the cage:

IMG_3437

Here’s the video:

Regarding the outing, the

eBird checklist for Jigani kere is

here

eBird checklist for Hennagara is

here

the FaceBook Album is

here

and the Flickr album is

here

“Top” fun…no electricity required…and it’s a lot of fun! Blr, 131216

December 14, 2016

I decided to show K2 how tops work, and I wondered if I still had the old skill. The first two tries did not work, but on the 3rd attempt…

(I had to throw the top and then pick up the camera!)

Here’s K2 demonstrating the best way to enjoy a spinning top.

Here’s the top:

IMG_3179//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Obviously, watching it upside down between one’s feet is good:

IMG_3181//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Then he comes closer, only to be stopped by my warning not to touch it!

IMG_3177//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

We had an hour or so of this…I hope, one day, to see him very proficient with the top,too!

Traditional pastimes for children, which are delightful, and require no electricity!

A beautiful song in AbhOgi: thanga ratham vanthathu veedhiyilE

November 24, 2016

தங்கரதம் வந்தது, வீதியிலே,
ஒரு தளிர்மேனி வந்தது தேரினிலே
மரகதத் தோரணம்அசைந்தாட
நல்ல மாணிக்க மாலைகள்கவிபாட

செவ்விள நீரின்கண் திறந்து
செம்மாதுளையின்மணி வாய் பிளந்து
முளைவிடும் தண்டில்கோலமிட்டு மூவருலா வந்த காலங்கள் போலே
தங்கரதம் வந்தது

மாங்கனிக் கன்னத்தில், தேனூற சிறு மைவிழிக்கிண்ணத்தில்மீன் ஆட
தேன் தரும் போதைகள், போராட
தேவியின்பொன் மேனி தள்ளாட ஆட
இருவரும்:- தங்கரதம் வந்தது

THANGA RATHAM VANTHATHU VEETHIYILEY – movie: Kalai Kovil (கலைக்கோயில்)